(Vasyl Lomachenko, above, Jose Ramirez, below; credit: Chris Farina, Top Rank)
These are the results for the three main undercard fights to support the main event of Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley on HBO pay-per-view:
In the chief supporting bout, Mexico's Orlando Salido (40-12-2, 27 KO) knocked out Puerto Rico's Orlando Cruz (20-3-1, 10 KO) in the 7th round of their featherweight title clash. Salido was just too strong and too rugged for Cruz, the first openly gay male professional boxer. Cruz managed to box in the early rounds but simply didn't have the power to keep "Siri" off him. The Mexican mixed in some headbutts and low blows with his punches, but in the end it was the punches that did Cruz in. An overhand right followed by a left uppercut in the 7th saw Cruz slump onto his side and not get up. It would have been good to see a gay fighter win a belt, but Salido is a hero too — a guy who grew up in poverty and didn't let 12 losses slow his career down.
Vasyl Lomachenko impressed in winning his professional debut at featherweight by bodyshot knockout. The gold medallist knocked Jose Ramirez (25-4, 15 KO) down with a right hand to the body in the 1st, but the Mexican showed incredible toughness by getting up and making a fight of it. He pressed and at times made the Ukrainian amateur star look a little bit uncomfortable. But Lomachenko was always moving his hands and winning rounds, before dropping the hammer at the end of the 4th with the same right uppercut to the body that scored the knockdown in the 1st. Ramirez never saw it coming and looked like he was about to cry as he writhed around on the canvas. Larry Merchant, commentating the international broadcast, summed it up: "We saw what we saw, and we want to see more."
Light heavyweight Sean Monaghan (19-0, 11 KO) dominated and stopped an out of shape Anthony Caputo-Smith (14-2, 10 KO) in the 3rd round a fight that in no way deserved to be on a pay-per-view undercard. Monaghan, a popular fighter from New York, was brought along to sell tickets, but there's no beating around the bush, this was a club fight.